25th Anniversary Collector's Edition

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Details At A Glance

Category Thriller Theatrical Trailer(s) Yes, 3
Rating Other Trailer(s) None
Year Released 1975 Commentary Tracks None 
Running Time 118:50 minutes Other Extras Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette - "The Making Of Jaws"
Deleted Scenes
Photo Galleries
Production Notes
RSDL/Flipper RSDL (89:20)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 2,4 Director Steven Spielberg 

Columbia TriStar
Starring Roy Scheider
Robert Shaw
Richard Dreyfus
RRP $39.95 Music John Williams 

Pan & Scan/Full Frame None MPEG None
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Dolby Digital 5.1
16x9 Enhancement
Soundtrack Languages English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448Kb/s)
French (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, 192Kb/s)
German (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, 192Kb/s)
Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, 192Kb/s)
Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, 192Kb/s)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
Macrovision Yes Smoking Yes
Subtitles English
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

Plot Synopsis

    "We're gonna need a bigger boat."

    Jaws was the movie that broke records and established the "summer blockbuster", firmly entrenching itself in the modern culture as the mother of all monster movies, using reality-driven frights instead of imagined ones, and drawing on primal, inescapable fears. The idea of a massive shark bearing down on you with a mouthful of teeth would frighten most sane people to the point of walking on water should the need arise - that's of course assuming that the paralysis of mind and body could be overcome, and the blood in your body could be convinced to return to the brain in order that you could control your legs in the first place. Scary is not the word.

    It was with excitement that I placed this disc in my player having only seen this movie once on VHS (shudder), and as this is being loudly advertised as being a world-wide simultaneous release in all regions, I expected big things. I was not disappointed. The acting is first rate, the plot is riveting, the effects convincing, and the man responsible for bringing it to the screen beyond question. Add in a dash of the incomparable John Williams, and you get an experience beyond the norm, from an era of filmmaking where the art was worth more than the marketing potential. Certainly, it was hugely marketable in its day, but that was as a result of it being original and genuinely worthy in the first place, something which is becoming sadly rare these days.

Transfer Quality


    Filmed using the anamorphic process, this transfer onto our beloved discs is nothing short of spectacular, and it is damn close to reference quality, only being let down by a handful of niggly problems due to the age of the material.

    The movie is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The definition of this disc is at times startling. The beach scenes, for instance, where everyone is so clearly visible in both the fore and backgrounds, is stunning, and belies the 25 years since this was filmed. Many scenes appeared three-dimensional, such as the early scenes near the moors where Richard Dreyfus makes his appearance. This is perhaps the most finely detailed and sharp DVD that I have seen, due not only to the fine restoration work and the virtue of anamorphic transfer, but also due to the quality of the compression which is absolutely faultless and is totally transparent. Fear not, this image will leave you very impressed indeed. Shadow detail was mostly very good, and at least as good as can be expected. All but a very small percentage of scenes were free of noise of any kind, including film grain which was absent.

    The colours were also very nice, and something for which I was unprepared. Normally, old movies are easy to pick by the colour rendering. Here, they are natural and clean for the majority of the movie. A couple of long shots of the Orca suffered from minor bleeding, which was probably the result of that particular film stock being submerged in water for a while by accident as revealed in the documentary which accompanies this disc.

    There were only two scenes which had any kind of film artefacts that you would associate with old movies, the rest being nigh on perfect. Aliasing was a bit touch and go early on during the bright outdoor scenes, but given the high resolution of this transfer, was more than acceptable.

    This disc is an RSDL-formatted DVD, with the layer change occurring in Chapter 15, at 89:20. It is not at all distruptive to the flow of the movie, ocurring during a rare quiet moment.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-to-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    This disc has five soundtracks, with all but the English being in Dolby Digital 1.0. The English soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 only, which has earned some controversy, but more on that a little later. The remaining languages - French, German, Italian and Spanish - are in Dolby Digital 1.0 mono.

    The source of the controversy is that the English soundtrack has been extensively touched up and even re-recorded in parts in order to produce a meaningful 5.1 mix for modern audiences who might not be too thrilled with a shrill mono soundtrack. Whilst I absolutely am in favour of this procedure if it is done with care, as it has been in this case, I am also vehemently against not having the choice of listening to the original, and also in this case award-winning, soundtrack as an option. I am sure this could have been done, and just tacked on with the other languages as a low-bitrate recording, but it hasn't been.

    I listened mostly to the new 5.1 mix, and was fairly impressed. All dialogue has been preserved, with no lip sync issues at all to report, which is something of a feat given the nature of the on-location recording. The dialogue did tend to give away the age of the movie, at times distorting, but it was remarkably good otherwise.

    The score, by none other than the utterly masterful John Williams is superb, and is presented in all its glory in a way that no mono soundtrack could ever hope to do. Wonderfully spatial, rich and deep, this adds an immense amount of quality to the movie, and is a high coup for the engineers who remixed this soundtrack. Full of tell-tale Williams' cues, this score will surely please all his many fans - I was certainly thrilled.

    This soundtrack is not an aggressively surrounding experience, but the odd effect pops up now and then. It does have a slight gimmicky nature to it since it is rare and does tend to call attention to itself when it occurs. The score does have a presence in the surrounds, but only very subtly and not enough to pull the soundstage away from the front speakers.

    The subwoofer was used sparingly for the first two-thirds of the movie, but as the action picked up so did it. Again, the original soundtrack simply faded into silliness by comparison with this far meatier mix. The familiar signature of the shark uses the sub to superb effect, and you really haven't heard it this good ever before, even methinks at the cinema back in '75.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    A big movie like this could not get away with being anything other than a special edition, right? Whilst the presentation is a bit on the plain side, save for the intro, this disc is nonetheless replete with a healthy set of extras, and is certainly worthy of its "Collector's Edition" status.

Menu (16x9 enhanced)

    A nice intro sequence leads into an animated main menu, which an early scene from the movie, with a view of the ocean and a buoy rocking gently in the distance - nothing too sinister, and nicely understated. The rest of the menu structure is static and very easy to navigate. All menus are 16x9 enhanced.

Featurette - The Making Of Jaws (50:12)

    Made this year, this is a broad and easy-to-watch documentary, with many of the key players being interviewed, including Steven Spielberg, who is quite candid in revealing all that went wrong during production - and that was just about everything. Interestingly, and perhaps not surprisingly, the main culprit which held up production was the mechanical shark, which apparently only worked a very small percentage of the time. The fact that it looks as good as it does in the film is testament to the hard work that went on behind the scenes. A good watch, presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 non-16x9 enhanced and in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo.

Deleted Scenes (9:51)

    Presented in 2.35:1 and not 16x9 enhanced, this is a collection of scenes which, for various reasons, didn't make the final cut. Unchaptered, this is a continuous-running feature and has 10 deleted scenes of generally very good quality.

Outtakes (1:04)

    As per the deleted scenes, this contains 2 outtakes - one of Roy Scheider having no luck firing a gun, and the other with Robert Shaw trying out a few death throes as he gets chomped by the shark at the end of the movie.


    There are three trailers for Jaws, all in Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, and non 16x9 enhanced. Again, these are unchaptered and simply run automatically. I would have rather that they were separated with menu entries.

    1 - 2.35:1, 3:15 minutes running time
    2 - 1.33:1, 0:50 minutes running time
    3 - 1.78:1, 0:59 minutes running time

Photo Galleries

    A whole raft of storyboards in one continuous chapter, though thankfully you can forward and reverse with the chapter search keys on your remote. I found these only mildy interesting.

Production Notes

Trivia Game

    This is the first time I have seen a trivia game playable from a standard DVD player, and I must admit to being slightly impressed. Twelve multiple-choice questions of the movie are asked, each with a hint option which takes you directly to a relevant scene in the movie. Simple and nice.

Shark World

    Some more interesting trivia on the delightful world of the shark. Amongst the many things I didn't know about sharks was that they typically shed tens of thousands of teeth in a few years! Yikes. At least you wouldn't have to worry about brushing them...

Talent Profiles

DVD-ROM Extras - Screensaver

R4 vs R1

    R1 has two versions slated for release at the same time as our R4 version. One is identical, the other has a DTS soundtrack. This is becoming more and more common for big R1 releases, and is a choice that regretfully is denied us at this time, and for the foreseeable future. Nonetheless, given the absolutely gorgeous PAL image our release is blessed with, for my money I will stick with the R4 version. Please, when can I have DTS on my R4 DVDs?


    Jaws is an eminently great movie that demands to be in your collection. I can't imagine anybody not wanting this, it's that simple.

    The video transfer is jaw(s)-droppingly good (sorry).

    The soundtrack is a bit of a mixed bag, but is far superior to its mono counterpart, the English version at least.

    A welcome set of extras, anchored firmly by a very good documentary.

Ratings (out of 5)

© Paul Cordingley ( read my bio)
27th June, 2000.
Review Equipment
DVD Panasonic A360 (S-Video output)
Display Rear-Projection Pioneer SD-T43W1 125cm Widescreen 16x9
Audio Decoder d t s 5.1 & Dolby Digital 5.1 (DVD Player internal decoder)
Amplification Sony STRDE-525 5x100 watts Dolby Pro-Logic / 5.1 Ready Receiver; 4 x Optimus 10-band Graphic EQ
Speakers Centre: Sony SS-CN35 100 watt; Main & Surrounds: Pioneer CS-R390-K 150-watt floorstanders; Subwoofer: Optimus 100-watt passive